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Article Title: Are You a Cynical Idealist?


Article Summary

This article deals with the topic of cynical idealism and how it’s useful for us .

The author starts with how it’s all too easy to miss the intimate connection between cynicism and idealism. idealism is all about cherishing or pursuing high or noble principles, purposes, [and] goals. Whereas Cynicism, probably best viewed as defeated idealism suggests a disappointment with what had earlier been believed or sought after . The author further gives us an example of a research which clearly favours the position that human compassion and virtue are innate in us.

We move from this positive point to the point of negative of cynical idealism as a resultfrom the combination of formal and informal education, growing maturation, and an ever-evolving, level-headed assessment of experience. We learn to be wary about what we’re told because too often it contradicts what’s right before our eyes. As our disappointments multiply, so does our skepticism towards everything. But the author argues that the position of cynical idealist makes a great deal of sense.

Further the author elucidates this thought about where a person looses his idealism in life through various examples . In our compelling need to view ourselves positively we tend to overlook or minimize our personal shortcomings or worse, project them onto others. The author believes that similar to using measured honesty to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, we need to moderate any cynicism that’s emerged from the scrupulous examination of our experiences and further explains us this with examples.

To conclude the author states that if from the totality of our experience we’ve learned what we’ve needed to, a certain degree of caution or cynicism isn’t only justified but it’s mandatory as without such skepticism, how are we to protect ourselves from those who display negative characteristics and the attitude of cynical idealism, as doubtful or pessimistic as it may sound but might be the most positive and yes meaningful life stance for anyone.

Article Link: Click here to read the full article


Words to Learn from this article:

Transcendence: existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level

Misanthropic: having or showing a dislike of other people; unsociable

Utopian: modelled on or aiming for a state in which everything is perfect; idealistic

Disdain: the feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one’s consideration or respect

Cantankerousness: someone who is bad tempered, grumpy or looking for an argument

Sanctimoniousness: making a show of being morally superior to other people

Unfettered: not confined or restricted


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